Had to choose between coming to Round Valley and trout fishing, or visiting Ken Lockwood Gorge and photographing river scenes. Since rain fell fairly hard, I figured I better not miss out on the chance at catching a trout. Besides, the South Branch ran a little high, not very, and my photo opportunities might have been affected in the negative somewhat, and besides water perhaps running too high in relation to a boulder or two in the foreground, leaves have not yet reached peak color anyhow.
I stopped at Behr's Bait and Tackle in Lebanon and bought mealworms. Mr. Behr reported a four-pound and a six-pound rainbow weighed in from the reservoir at his shop this morning. He said plenty are being caught from shore, and this is the typical scenario this time of year, although when you occupy a spot and other anglers fish nearby, you don't usually see a lot of trout being caught as if it were Opening Day or a stocking day on a stream. You may see one or two, or a few, caught, and they average about 16 inches.
During the really hardcore season of December, January, February, and early March, you witness very few caught, although there are regulars who brave the cold and certainly catch some. They just may have to wait a total of 12 hours or more between fish, but there are guys who fish five, six hours a day, a couple or more times a week.
Round Valley is like deep wilderness in winter with few anglers and birders present. I often come and no one is there at all. That's nearly how it was today. I saw no one fishing in the Lot 2 area, but I did see a few cars drive into the lot above, and a Park Ranger drove by.
I've been blogging about this fishing for several years and nothing changes. No increase in visitors results, and it's really not so much my aim to draw others in, but tell a story that you, the reader, may appreciate. Particular points I make may have universal value, so it's more than a fishing report about the reservoir. And if you want to try for these unlikely trout, most of the anglers I've encountered have no qualm about seeing another or others. In fact, at this time of year, especially deep in winter, greetings and conversation are the norm, unlike spring and summer when you're just another person among many, everyone indifferent to one another, except we secret human beings who notice people because life is very much about being social. Leave the anti-social types to their delusions and avoid them, but that's not really how most people are, although people in a crowd are in fact less likely to approach each other, and Round Valley Recreation Area really does fill up when the weather warms.
Not a hit today. The usual, expected result of a sincere attempt.
It's October 23rd and leaves still haven't reached peak color. A mild summer, warm fall. What will winter be?